The next English Local Government Elections (London Boroughs/Metropolitan Districts/Shire Districts/Single Tier Shire Districts) will take place on 3 May 2018 so there will be a period of heightened sensitivity relating to due impartiality during the Election Period. Please refer to the Election Guidelines here under the C4 Guidelines tab.
The Election Period runs from Tuesday 27th March (which is the last date for publication of notices of the election) to close of polls on 3rd May. Any programme (or trail) containing political content or contributors linked to interested parties that is due to be broadcast during the Election Period should be referred to the relevant lawyers in the Legal & Compliance Department and Commissioning Editor and you should be aware of the heightened sensitivities.
Ofcom expects broadcasters to take election-related editorial decisions by reference to “evidence of past electoral support and/or current support” and giving appropriate coverage to parties and independent candidates with “significant views and perspectives”. Please also note that:
- There are heightened obligations regarding due impartiality.
- These obligations cover all programmes and all genres. If you are commissioning or planning to schedule programmes with political content or candidates you must get advice from Legal & Compliance at the earliest opportunity.
- Please speak to your programme lawyer if there are any plans to repeat any programmes that featured political candidates.
- Extra vigilance is required throughout the Election Period regarding potential or actual candidates appearing in programmes whether or not the programme is political.
- On polling day itself, there must be no discussion of election issues.